The teens killed themselves at a slumber party after complaining they were being bullied at school. As parents, doesn’t this horrify you?
Best friends Haylee Fentress and Paige Moravetz, both 14, of Lake Township, Minnesota left suicide notes behind for their families before hanging themselves at a sleepover on Friday night, April 15. Haylee’s mother, Tracy Morrison discovered their bodies early Saturday morning when she went to check on the girls. This has to be every parent’s worst nightmare.
Police investigators believe the two teens had been planning this for quite some time. In the farewell notes they left behind, both girls even detailed funeral arrangements. Just heartbreaking.
“She requested everything pink and princess and butterflies,” Haylee’s aunt, Robin Settle, tells ABC News. Robin says that Haylee, her mother and 8-year-old brother recently moved to Lake Township from Indiana and that the 14-year-old was struggling with being bullied in school.
“I’m shocked and I’m mad and I’m sad. I don’t understand the mentality of kids torturing other kids, kids having to go through this. They don’t think they have anywhere to go to,” she told ABC News. “She was made fun of for being overweight, her red hair. She posted on my Facebook wall that she really wanted to come back, that the people were mean and cruel and she didn’t fit in.”
Paige suffered from bullying as well and became very close with Haylee, even leading Haylee to hyphenate Paige’s last name to hers on Facebook. “They were best friends,” said Paige’s uncle, Brett Behnke.
“She just didn’t want anybody to be sad for her,” Brett says of Paige’s suicide note. “She wanted everybody to pray for her and that’s the gist of it.” But why did this have to happen? Could it have been avoided?
“Encourage them to come to you if they suspect someone is bullying them,” psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert tells HollyBaby.com. ”Look out for the signs of a child being bullied: feeling upset when online, withdrawal, not wanting to go to school, sad, depressed.”
“We need to model and talk to our children about how do we solve problems? How do we handle things that are hard? How do we help each other and ourselves?” Cindy Manthey, of the Critical Incident Stress Management team at Haylee and Paige’s school explains.
This is a terrible situation that can be prevented if we realize what’s really going on with our children, especially when social networks like Facebook and Twitter are involved.
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